Palisade Parks and Recreation is ringing in 2015 with all sorts of new things: new programs, new rates, new projects, even new faces.

Many citizens had the pleasure of meeting Tristan Hiraishi last year; he was our first intern in the Recreation Intern Program, which was cultivated with Colorado Mesa University Sports Management Program. Tristan managed the open gym, Back to School Beach Party, helped with other programs and events, was diligent in marketing, and assisted with park maintenance.

Given the size of Palisade’s Recreation department staff, and the rapid growth of the programs in the last three and a half years, Palisade Recreation sought the help of Dr. Bell, professor and chair of the Sports Management department at CMU. After being invited to be a guest speaker in some of the sports management classes, Town of Palisade’s Recreation and Event Coordinator Sarah Brooks asked Dr. Bell to help recruit interns for Palisade Recreation. Dr. Bell went above and beyond, he did more than recruit, he handpicked Tristan; and Palisade truly reaped the benefits of having a young mind ready to learn and gain experience.

During the 2015 budget process, the Town of Palisade saw the benefits of having a dedicated intern such as Tristan, and administrators worked out a plan which set aside a small budget to continue to bring interns to Palisade. Knowing in advance that there would be money available to provide each intern with a stipend, it was easier to recruit interns earlier in the process.

This past fall, Dr. Bell referred Mary Brennan to Palisade Recreation because she had expressed specific interest in the programming process. Recreation and Events Coordinator Brooks began meeting with Mary in September and October of 2014, and soon had several new programs coordinated for the 2015 winter/spring season.

Meet our Newest Face, Mary Brennan

Illinois native Mary Brennan is the Town of Palisade's new intern, set to assist in Recreation programs and events.

Illinois native Mary Brennan is the Town of Palisade’s new intern, set to assist in Recreation programs and events.

Brennan was then chosen as the new intern for Palisade Parks and Recreation. She grew up in Arlington Heights, Illinois, with two brothers, two sisters and two fantastic parents. Mary claims that her parents have always been big tennis enthusiasts, placing her in lessons as a child; and she continued on to play in high school.

Once Mary made the decision to continue with her passion of tennis and compete at the collegiate level, she began to look for colleges with quality tennis programs, particularly those located in Colorado. Explaining that she had always wanted to live out west, Brennan was offered a position on the Colorado Mesa University Women’s Tennis team and now lives happily in Colorful Colorado. Tennis is Mary’s ‘absolute favorite’ sport and she is very excited to teach it in the Palisade Community.

Working as an intern for Palisade Parks and Recreation, Mary has so far found the position to be a lot of fun, with plenty of learning opportunities in the field of Recreation and Sport Management. Having experience with racket sports was only one of the reasons that the Town of Palisade found Mary to be such a good fit for the recreation program. Palisade Recreation wanted to get more youth and adults active in tennis, and to bring Pickleball to Palisade for the first time.

Pickleball is another sport that Mary is enthusiastic to introduce to Palisade because it’s such an up and rising sport. With a natural knack for swinging a racket, Mary is excited to learn more about the fastest growing sport in the United States; maybe she will rise to the top in Pickleball too!

When asked what she thought about joining the team in Palisade, Mary replied, “Palisade is a great community to be a part of because I love music and the outdoors. I play the guitar during my free time and enjoy listening to all the live music throughout the valley during the weekends. Camping and hiking with my good friends are two of my other favorite activities. My favorite hiking spot is the Ribbon Trail on the Monument because there are plenty of places to free climb. I am planning on attending Palisade’s outdoor recreation programs to learn about hikes in the area that I haven’t seen yet.

I am looking forward to working in this friendly community and learning as much as I can. I have already met a lot of friends while I have been here and plan to meet many more!”

Plenty of NEW Programs in store for 2015

Brennan did not waste any time getting her feet wet, she started teaching the first session of youth tennis on her fourth day of work.  This season, Palisade Recreation is offering two sessions of Youth Tennis indoors at the Palisade Gymnasium.  Session one began Jan. 8, and will end on the last Thursday, Jan. 29. The next session of Youth Tennis will begin on Thursday, Feb. 5, and run through Thursday, Feb. 26 from 4:15 – 5:15 p.m..  Participants will have a great opportunity to learn tennis from a CMU player and a USTA certified instructor, all for an affordable price. Adults will also have a chance to improve their tennis skills with a clinic to be offered later this spring.

Pickleball is the fastest growing sport in the United States, and it will now be available in Palisade. Learn the basics of the sport, techniques, and rules of the game through a free Pickleball Clinic on Saturday, Jan. 31, from 9 – 11 a.m. at the Palisade Gymnasium at the corner of Seventh and Iowa Streets.  Beginning in February, the Town will offer drop-in-play times on Tuesdays from 9 – 11 a.m. from Feb. 3 through Apr. 28, and the first Saturday of each month, also from 9 – 11 a.m. Saturday dates include Feb. 7, March 7, April 4, and May 2.

Parents in need of youth supervision during the early release times at Taylor Elementary might try ‘Zany Games’ in February.  This is a fun after-school program that will incorporate a variety of active games with team-building exercises, very similar to many summer camp activities. The program will run on Wednesdays from 2 – 4:30 p.m., Feb. 4 – Feb. 25. Palisade Recreation staff will meet students at school and walk with them over to the Palisade Community Center.

This past summer Palisade Recreation teamed up with Canyon View Church to offer free movies in the plaza once a month.  Adults experiencing cabin fever can also now have a free evening out with Classic Cinema, in which Canyon View Church will show a classic favorite the third Thursday of each month.  The event is free and participants are encouraged to bring an appetizer or dessert to share.  Social time begins at 5:30 p.m. with the feature film beginning at 6 p.m.

January 15               Groundhog Day

Feb 19                       You’ve Got Mail

March 19                  True Grit (1969 version)

April 16                     Field of Dreams

Yoga and Wine

Adults (ages 21 and over) can also enjoy an evening of yoga at the Red Fox Winery for Yoga & Wine. Join the Palisade Recreation yoga instructors Teri and Alyssa for an excellent yoga workout, followed by a social hour with wine tasting and an educational piece about wine making or wine paring. Classes are held the second Thursday of each month (Feb 12, March 12, April 9, May 14) from 5:30 – 7 p.m.  Registration is $14 per class or $48 for all four sessions.  Each class includes a glass of wine or a non-alcoholic beverage of choice.

There are many other excellent programs this season. Palisade Recreation is excited to continue serving our regular users and hopes to see many new faces this spring as well. For more information about the programs offered for the 2015 winter/spring season, pick up an activity guide from Palisade Town Hall, Palisade Chamber, the local libraries, or visit

New Community Garden Rates

Residents can meet their healthy resolutions this year by growing their own produce in the Palisade Community Garden, located on the curve of West 4th Street. The Town of Palisade staff and many volunteers have put in a lot of elbow grease in the past year to make the Community Garden more appealing to the community, and the garden was officially dedicated in September of 2014. The Palisade Chamber helped to spruce up the garden with the donation of the Honey Bee Hive, created by Lyle Nichols. Last year the Town also built a pallet trellis along the north side of the garden, which will have several types of vine plants sprouting this spring and summer.

In order to get more people to use the garden, the Town has dropped the annual rental rates substantially for the 2015 year.  Garden plots range in size from 4 x 8 and 3 x 5 foot raised beds, and 2 x 3 foot elevated back saver boxes that are perfect for herbs and leafy greens. Community Garden users have access to community compost and city water; plus, the boxes are filled with fresh garden mix each season. In addition to the lower rates, Palisade Recreation is also offering a 20 percent discount on plot rentals for all reservations made by March 1.


Plot Size RegularJan 1-June 30 Low IncomeJan 1-June 30
4X8 $30 $20
3X5 $20 $15
2X3 Elevated $10 $5

Shade for plaza

The New Year also brings a new budget, one that will allow the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee (PRAC) to accomplish some of the projects they have been working toward in the past few years. One project in particular aims to benefit regular users of the downtown plaza and downtown business owners, and will also be incredibly helpful during special event season. Soon, the high sun will not deter people from eating their lunch in the plaza or visiting a downtown event, because the Town will be installing shade structures on the West side of the plaza. The structures will be available for year-round use and will be installed this spring.

Bike skills park

Many people have requested more opportunities for bike use in the community, especially now that the Town has refurbished the skate park. Currently, Palisade Parks and Recreation is working closely with Dirt Works Construction, starting on a bike skills park next to the lagoons at the east end of Riverbend Park. Dirt Works is in the process of reconstructing 38 Road to add a bike lane, making the Fruit and Wine Byway much safer to ride. That project requires a lot of filler material to make the bike lane wide enough, so the Town offered material from Riverbend Park in exchange for help constructing the first phase of the skills park.

The bike skills park will probably be completed in three or four phases, done over the course of two to three years, depending on funding. The first phase of the project will consist of a pump track that will be entertaining to beginner, intermediate, and more advanced riders.  The project will continue over the summer into the second phase. The Town is still configuring design ideas and getting feedback from county engineers on the second phase.